Current Favorites – March 2017

I’m not very good about doing consistent monthly favorites posts like other beauty content creators out there. Um, my bad? I just don’t try that many things every single month that I’d be able to have a whole list every month. Also, the beginnings and very end of the month are always very busy for me at work, so I don’t always have time to really give it some thought.

Anywho, here’s a few things I have been loving on lately, both in February and so far in March. I got a really nasty cold at the end of February, and some of these were just lifesavers that have helped me with that, since everyone knows being sick does GREAT things for your skin, right? ;) There’s a definite theme with these favorites: hydration. Being sick had me at lizard status.

Complexion-wise, I’ve been trying a lot of different foundations lately. Or rather, re-trying. I spent a lot of time earlier this year going through my foundation stash, which resulted in me wanting to try out a lot of foundations I hadn’t worn in a while. I also tried out the It Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact serum foundation, which I will have a full review on soon. However, when I got sick, my skin around my nose and upper lip was so dry and raw from being rubbed with tissues that no foundation went on comfortably (or attractively, I might add). I found one combination that worked enough to get me through the reptilian stage…

Trusty MAC Studio Fix powder (I wear shades N3 and NW10…wearing N3 in the pic above) and Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer (I wear shade 2, which has been discontinued ūüė≠). I use about a grain of rice size amount of concealer to spot conceal areas I need to, and then just go over everything with a light application of the MAC powder. The powder has a lot of coverage, and it sat okay on my super dry skin without looking (t00) scaly. Then I just wear a really natural looking blush that kind of matches the redness in my nose so it looks like maybe I just have a little color vs. a bright red clown nose. My blush colors of choice are Urban Decay Afterglow blush in Video or Wet ‘n Wild Color Icon blush in Ros√© Champagne for something with more of a sheen. I’m wearing Video in the pic above.

Since being sick includes a lot of breathing through your mouth (cute, huh), that means dry lips! I’ve been kind of needing a break from all of the popular matte lips lately anyway, but that whole situation forced me to avoid them. For about a week straight I think I only wore lip balm. My lip balm of choice is Epic Blend. I like their Hemp and More Moisture formulas. For products with a little more color, I’ve been wearing my Vasanti Cosmetics tinted lip balm that I have loved for years. Unfortunately they’ve completely redone the line and I can’t recommend the new ones because I haven’t tried them. I also still use my It Cosmetics lip treatment quite frequently. It’s half gone. Eep!

Skincare-wise I have spent a lot of time slathering myself in moisturizer lately. I’ve been using a combo of Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum topped with It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream. The rich cream combined with the extra hydrating serum have made it just a little easier to turn my lizard skin nose back into a regular person nose. ūüźĹ

Other than that, I’ve really been spending a lot of time just shopping through my stash and trying out a lot of various things, so no other true¬†favorites¬†to report at the moment. But I’m always curious to know what you guys have been loving, so let me know!

Products I’ve Repurchased

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I always find it interesting to know what products people have repurchased time and again. It truly says something when even beauty addicts, who are consistently trying new things, return to old favorites. So why not return to blogging with some tried and true faves of my own? I’m breaking them down into categories.

Skincare

I definitely have the most repurchased items in the skincare category, so let’s start there.

Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Triple-Action Toner ($8.49, Ulta)
I couldn’t even tell you how many bottles I’ve gone through of this stuff, but it’s several. I love that this product is so good, even though it’s really inexpensive. The price is really great considering you get a huge 8 oz bottle. The active ingredient is 2% salicylic acid, which helps keep breakouts and clogged pores at bay, but since it is in a formula with camellia and cucumber, it isn’t irritating or stingy on my face. If you have very sensitive skin this¬†may¬†cause a little irritation because it does contain alcohol, but it has worked out fine for me.

Pixi Glow Tonic ($15, Target)
Another fantastic, inexpensive skincare find that I have purchased more than once. This is another acid toner (generally I would use this in the daytime and the Neutrogena toner at night). Pixi Glow Tonic contains 5% glycolic acid in a very gentle alcohol-free formula with aloe and ginseng. I experience no stinging, no redness, and no irritation, and I’m about 2/3 of the way through my second bottle. This toner is designed to keep your skin looking even and radiant. I definitely notice a difference!

Murad Acne Spot Treatment ($18, Sephora)
Murad has two acne spot treatment products. This one is not to be confused with their “fast fix” product, which is a benzoyl peroxide-based product. The one I’m in love with is simply called acne spot treatment and it is a 3% sulphur active ingredient treatment. There are only a few different actives that treat acne, and for me I prefer sulphur treatments to benzoyl peroxide. It’s way less drying and irritating. I only see a teeny bit of drying with this product, whereas benzoyl peroxide has more than once given me itchy dry patches. Not cute. Anyway, I am on my third tube of this handy stuff, which is great at helping to reduce the inflammation of breakouts, which is ultimately what causes them to be so painful (and noticeable!) and also what causes scarring. A little bit goes a¬†long¬†way, so in order to get through multiple tubes I have been using this product for years.

MAC Cleanse-Off Oil ($32 & free shipping, Nordstrom)
When I’m wearing makeup and/or sunscreen, I prefer to double cleanse. I use MAC Cleanse-Off Oil as my first cleanse. It’s great at removing even the heaviest makeup (even waterproof mascara or bits of lash glue). This cleanser emulsifies with water, so you don’t even really need to do a second cleanse if you don’t want to. If you have dry skin, you may not feel the need. The oil is formulated with no mineral oil, and contains soothing oils like olive, evening primrose, and jojoba. If you’re at all acne or clog prone, you may want to follow up with a second cleanser. I do just because I like to be extra squeaky clean, and because my skin has been more normal-to-oily than dry lately. As an added bonus for this product, you can recycle the packaging with Back 2 MAC.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel ($14, Ulta)
For a cleanser with chemically exfoliating actives in it, this cleanser is¬†so¬†very gentle. I think it would work well for just about any skin type. This cleanser exfoliates with hydroxy acids from papaya and grapefruit extracts. It’s gentle enough that I have even used it with cleansing devices like the Foreo Luna or Clarisonic and had no irritation. If you have dry skin that is prone to clogged pores, this will help to keep them clear¬†without irritating your skin. I love that the packaging is no-nonsense and without any frills that would drive up the price, too. I’m on my second bottle, and still loving it!

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Dry Skin ($8.99, Ulta)
Do you think this moisturizer has a long enough name? Because I’m not sure. This moisturizer is sold in a dry skin formula and a normal skin formula and I have tried both. Though Garnier says the dry skin version has 2x more moisturizing agents, I don’t notice a huge difference. This moisturizer is better for people who have normal to slightly dry skin rather than those who have very dry skin. I think it actually works great for skin that is dehydrated and producing too much oil to compensate, because it is so very light weight. The name says gel-cream, but it is very much a gel texture. It’s not going to give you a heavy night cream feeling at all. I think it wears very well under makeup, and on days when I need even more hydration I just use a serum first.

Hair Products

Hair products are another area where I am pretty settled into a routine and I know what I like.

Psssst! Dry Shampoo ($6.99, Ulta)
I wait ’til this stuff goes on sale and buy them a couple at a time. This is a very basic, yet well-performing dry shampoo. I have bangs‚Äďdry shampoo is a necessity. I flip my head over and spray it at the roots, or spray it into my bangs and then comb through and sort of “fluff” them out for refreshed hair.

Alterna CAVIAR Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner ($32 each, Sephora online)
Once upon a time several years ago, the good folks at Alterna sent me a PR package with these two products in it, and thus began my love affair with¬†really pricey haircare. I used both bottles up and then totally willingly forked over the cashola for my own¬†more than once¬†because this stuff is amazing. I have fine, color-treated hair. It tends to be on the dry side vs. oily, and I also heat style with a blow dryer and flat iron very regularly. I try to take very good care of my hair because if you’re going to pay $100+ to color it, you want to preserve that color or it’s throwing money away. These products are luxurious and sulfate-free, and make my hair feel oh so silky. Even the ends of my hair are in great shape and I believe I owe it to Alterna! It’s tough to swallow paying $64 for your hair care, so I do sometimes stray with L’Oreal’s sulfate free products, and I stock up on Alterna¬†during events like Sephora’s annual VIB 20% off sale.

Makeup

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup ($40, Sephora)
I’ve purchased this bad boy twice, even though it is far from cheap. The shade range is pretty extensive, and shade 0.5 matches me very well.¬†It is described as a radiant finish, and looks very skin-like. The coverage is medium, and somewhat buildable. If you are looking for something to even out your skintone and wear well without looking like a mask, you’ll probably like this. If you have extremely oily skin or a lot to cover up, probably not as much. I loved this the most when my skin was normal to dry.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation¬†($12.99, Ulta)
As my skin became more normal to oily, I wanted a more matte foundation. The hype was huge surrounding this foundation’s launch, and for good reason. I love this foundation, possibly even more than the Urban Decay. It has easy, hygienic packaging that is travel friendly, a decent shade range (I wear 101 Classic Ivory), and wears¬†very¬†well throughout the day. The coverage is medium to high medium and buildable. Though it says matte, it’s not a dry or flat looking matte. It’s like your skin but better. At the end of the day I can feel oil on my t-zone, but the foundation doesn’t break up or smear, etc. It may require a bit of touching up around hour 12-13, so I raise my eyebrow at the 24HR claim, but you should never really wear foundation for 24 solid hours anyway. For less than half the price of Urban Decay, I am sold!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($28, Sephora)
While the Urban Decay foundation has been replaced in my go-to lineup for the moment, the accompanying concealer remains a favorite. This concealer does wonders for brightening up my under eye area and inner corners of my eyes. It blends out nicely and the fact that it is light enough to brighten even on my pale complexion is impressive. I wear shade Fair Neutral.

Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Mascara¬†($6.99, Ulta)
I’ve repurchased this mascara easily 3 to 4 times. I love that it not only volumizes, but also lengthens. Most recently, I’ve been trying out the waterproof version of this (picked it up when I went on a cruise), and it is VERY waterproof.

Sedona Lace Synthetic Round Top Brush (480) ($18.95, Sedona Lace)
Simply put, my favorite foundation brush. It’s so dense, so soft, and blends foundation out like a dream. It also washes very well, and looks freaking adorable with the pink and black ombre bristles. They do not bleed or shed. Awesome all-around brush. I love it so much I needed a second one in my arsenal so I never have to be without it, even when one of them is drying from being washed.

Sedona Lace Synthetic Small Round Dome Brush (217) ($16.95, Sedona Lace)
My favorite concealer blending brush¬†ever.¬†It’s pretty much a smaller, less dense version of the 480. It’s a small, compact fluffy brush that blends concealer out even better than my fingers. Worth every penny, and I just had to get another one.

 

What are some beauty products you love so much that you’ve purchased them more than once?

February Beauty Favorites

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Hey everyone! Let’s talk Feb Faves. As I was compiling my favorites from the month of February, I realized there’s a very pinky theme. That was totally unintentional…just kinda worked out that way! I do really love pinky rosy shades on me though, and have been digging a sort of monochromatic look where I have rosy tones on my eyes, cheeks, and lips. The rose colors always look amazing with green eyes, too.

Fragrance

February was¬†dominated¬†by one single perfume for me: Marc Jacobs Oh Lola. Oh Lola is a fruity floral scent that I’ll admit, I did not love as much when I first took a whiff. It’s very sweet. But my reason for loving this perfume is the dry-down. Oh my¬†god.¬†It’s the sexiest dry-down I’ve got in my collection. The notes of Oh Lola are listed as “pear, effervescent raspberry cocktail, peony, magnolia, cyclamen, sandalwood, tonka bean, and vanilla absolute”. Once the fruit and peony are done punching you in the face and they settle down and snuggle in to the base notes, this fragrance is incredible. If you spray your decollete with this perfume, by midday/evening you’ll want to motorboat yourself. The 1.7 oz bottle I have retailed originally for $68, but since this perfume launched in 2011 it’s available at a bunch of outlets for much cheaper. If I had one criticism of this perfume it’s that the 1.7 oz bottle is a bit top heavy, so I have to be careful I’m not knocking it over all the time.

Skin  Care

My skin still goes through times when it’s super dry, but lately has been more¬†combo. I am super dry around my nose and mouth, but oily on my chin, and normal everywhere else. Every day I used to use the Makeup Forever HD Elixir on my nose to give it that extra surge of moisture before makeup application. I used up my HD Elixir and…it’s discontinued. That product was not cheap, but my little bottle lasted over a year. I was willing to shell out a pretty good chunk of cash for a proper substitute, and with that in mind I picked up Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst-Quenching Serum on my recent trip to Frends Beauty. I had read about this serum on Sephora’s website, but after talking to someone at Frends who had used both the Caudalie and the HD Elixir, I was sold. She was also bummed about HD Elixir being discontinued and said the Caudalie would be good to use instead. I’ve been using it pretty much every day for the last couple weeks, and I love it. I apply it before my regular moisturizer to the areas that need extra hydration, and my makeup goes on smoothly instead of clinging to dry patches.

I switched toners in February, sort of on a whim. I finally joined the rest of the class in 2016 and got myself a Target RED card, which got me 15% off. I picked up Pixi Glow Tonic after hearing tons of raves from bloggers and Youtubers. The ingredients are what drew me in though, because it’s a 5% glycolic toner that claims to also be gentle enough for all skin types. It does contain calming ginseng and aloe, and so far is extremely gentle. It’s also alcohol free. I’ve been using it about a month, and it’s been great for my pores, and some of the hyperpigmentation I have from previous breakouts. It doesn’t sting at all, and doesn’t leave my face feeling dry or stripped after using it. The bottle Target sells is 3.4 fl oz/100 ml for $15. It’s very nice, and if you are looking for a new toner, I suggest checking that out. Pixi’s website also carries¬†a larger size 250 ml bottle for $29 (free shipping on $25+), which I might grab after this little guy runs out.

Makeup

I’ve been shopping my stash and not adding too many new makeup items to my collection the past few months. Shopping my stash lead me to rediscover my It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flushes. I have two, the more well-known Je Ne Sais Quois, and Damsel. Damsel is my love, my baby. I’m obsessed. I have worn this lipstick practically every day in February. Even if I don’t start out with it, I’ll put some on later in the day. It’s so pretty, so flattering, and soooo comfortable to wear. It leaves a nice pinky stain afterward. I’ve worn quite a bit of mine down, and this is one of those few makeup products that I will not wait to run out before I purchase a new one. I do not ever want to be without this again! Here’s a pic of me in Damsel:

medamsel

With that lipstick I’ve been wearing a lot of rosy, pinky eye looks. On my easy lazy days I use MAC Girl Friendly paint pot (discontinued). If I’m going for more of a put together look I add shades from either the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette or the Tarte Tartelette palette (particularly from the middle row). I’ve also been feeling a fleeky highlight lately, and there’s nothing subtle about TheBalm’s Mary Lou-Manizer. I apply that with a fan brush and glow to the gods. I’ve also put Mary Lou on my eyes for a nice pop of shine.

Beauty Tools

I’ve rekindled my romance with my Beauty Blender! We are recommitted and very much still in love. I had lost mine, or so I thought, and purchased a new one from Frends not too long ago. And of course right after she arrived, I found my old ones. The old ones are still in decent enough shape, so now I just have a family of pink sponges. Also on my recent trip to Frends, I picked up a new brush. I have no business buying new brushes, but I fell in love with the Stilazzi S133 Synthetic Brush. It’s a small tapered brush in the perfect size for setting my undereye area with powder. And it’s. So. Soft. Another brush I’ve been loving on a lot recently is my Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Small Powder/Blush brush. OCC gets a lot of recognition for their cosmetics, but their brushes are really awesome. The small powder brush is the perfect little brush for applying blush to the apples of my cheeks. The fibers are a custom blended synthetic (vegan, cruelty free, etc.), and again it’s just so soft and feels nice when I use it.

That’s it for my Feb favorites! What beauty products were you loving this past month? Anything you’re excited to try next month?

April Favorites

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Sure it’s a week in to May already, but I’m telling you my April favorites dammit. And you’re gonna like it. Maybe. Or something?

Not a ton of color things this month because I’ve been all about skin care recently! As you may or may not have read, I’m¬†obsessed¬†with Urban Decay’s B6 Spray (see my review here). That’s definitely been a favorite. I use it every single day before I apply my makeup, and sometimes in between as a little boost, or afterwards to calm my skin down even more. ($33, Urban Decay)

I’ve also been really enjoying the Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream. I still feel weird calling it a cream, because it’s totally¬†not.¬†But it’s still a great moisturizer even if you have sensitive skin like mine. I like the refreshing scent too. It’s very “spa” to me. In case you missed it, my review is here.¬†(~$10, Drugstores)

If you’re in the market for a fan-friggin-tastic spot treatment, do check out Murad’s Acne Spot Treatment. The active ingredient is sulphur, which I find way more effective than salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. It’s also much more gentle on my skin than spot treatments made with those ingredients. It works beautifully, even though it smells kinda funky. A little goes a long way, so the tube will last you a while. Just keep in mind the expiration date (usually about a year is par for the course for these types of products).¬†($17, Ulta)

Two other secret weapons I’ve been relying on for the past month are Proactiv’s Refining Mask and Origins’ Clear Improvement charcoal mask. I’ve been tag-teaming my skin with these two masks to try and keep my pores as clear as possible. Both masks also make my skin soft and smooth. The charcoal mask from Origins is better for dry skin, gently removing impurities from pores. The ProActiv mask has an active ingredient of 6% sulphur and contains kaolin clay to absorb oil. (Origins Clear Improvement mask is $24 from Sephora, Proactiv Refining Mask is available from proactiv.com and Proactiv boutique kiosques).

I’ve been using and enjoying Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Beauty Balm, too! It functions as a primer with a bit of coverage too. It’s weird, even though it only gives you a little coverage, the “optical blurring” effects truly make it look like you have more coverage than you actually do. Does that make sense? I don’t know. But it’s pretty magical. See my full review here.¬†($34, Urban Decay)¬†Whether I’m just wearing the UD BB cream or doing a full face, I have been setting my makeup with Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder. The first time I felt this powder I literally said “holy shit” out loud. It’s¬†sooooo¬†silky smooth. Just a little bitty bit is needed to set your makeup and give it a smooth finish. ($34, Urban Decay)

Color-wise, my Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey has been a constant staple in my purse. How many favorites posts have I mentioned it in?? I wear it a few times a week. I can’t stress enough how much I love this lip. Mine doesn’t even have any lettering on the pencil anymore because I’ve used it so many times the lettering has worn off! These are so comfortable to wear, and the colors last forever. The particular shade Honey goes with a ton of different looks. If you like colors like MAC’s Viva Glam V, you should definitely check this chubby pencil out. You won’t be sorry. Plus, it’s super cheap.¬†($8, Drugstores)

A few days ago, I finished up my second¬†Senna Sketch-a-Brow pencil. I’m sad because it’s gone, but happy because it happened. Does that sound like an InstaQuote? I’ve tried a lot of brow pencils that I like and enjoy, but I’ve never used up¬†two¬†of any one kind except Senna’s. On the one hand, I want to go out and buy more immediately. On the other, I’m hesitant because I apparently go through brow pencils super fast. I mean I just bought that thing the first week of March! It’s hard to decide. Bloggers have such weird problems. ;)¬†($18, Senna Cosmetics)

After finishing my last tube of my beloved Maybelline The Rocket mascara, I received a sample of Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam¬†to try. Great news – I really like this mascara! It agrees with my eyes well (certain mascaras irritate the crap out of my eyes). It’s buildable, it’s really black, it doesn’t clump. Every once and a while if it’s really hot conditions it will smudge slightly, but it’s over all really solid. I would definitely purchase it again sometime.¬†($7, Drugstores)

And there you go! Those were my favorites during the month of April. What were you loving on in April?

You Need This: Urban Decay B6 Complexion Prep Spray

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I’m guessing many of you, like me, have heard a lot about various¬†sprays.¬†There’s lots of them out there. They range from literally just a can of water to highly beneficial skin care at the touch of a spray nozzle. When Urban Decay launched its b6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray, I’ll admit I didn’t give it much thought. Oh, water with some vitamins in it, blah blah blah. That’s all I thought it was.

I must not be alone. The Urban Decay website pretty much speaks to that exact reaction. The product description reads: “It‚Äôs one of those products you didn‚Äôt even know you needed. (But once you try it, you‚Äôll wonder how you ever survived without it!)”.

They aren’t wrong. I am SO hooked on this spray! After switching off my birth control rx, my skin understandably went a little wonky. Along with some other things (which I will be reviewing as well!), adding the b6 spray to my skin care routine has helped calm everybody down. The redness reducing claim of this spray really rings true. Other claims it makes are that it hydrates (check!), reduces pore size (I guess?), and absorbs excess oil/reduces shine. I don’t have a huge shine issue or pore size issue so I’m not sure how much it does that…but it doesn’t hurt anything. And it doesn’t dry me out in its attempt to absorb excess oil. It just hydrates and makes my skin feel so much more CALM. There’s a bunch of natural salicylic acid in there too, to help in cell turnover (hi, exfoliation – that thing everyone says is super good for you!).

Go. Do. Buy. Use. LOVE. I’m not even kidding. Get some, and thank me.

Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray is available at Urban Decay (and all other places UD is sold) for $33.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review

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I know I’m kind of late to the game reviewing¬†Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm, but you know…better late than pregnant. Anywho, late or not, I have recently been wearing the UD BB after a suggestion from Bren of OMG Bren. My skin has been super dry lately, and she suggested I wear a good BB cream under my foundation. Since my foundation of choice is UD Naked Skin, this seemed a logical choice!

It claims to:

– hydrate instantly
– improve hydration over time
– make makeup go on nicely
– make makeup last longer
– protect with SPF 20 (broad spectrum)
– instantly even out skin tone
– instantly minimize pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness
– treats skin to firm, improve elasticity, and provide “measurable anti-aging benefits”

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm contains some new to me ingredients. Pepha¬ģ-Protect helps protect your skin cells against daily stress. Uh hi? I need that. Vitasource¬ģ and dGlyage¬ģ firm the skin, improve elasticity, and fight wrinkles. Not huge issues for me NOW, but hey better to prevent than to try and fix later!

At first I wasn’t all that excited about trying this because it only came in one shade. That shade has been renamed Naked Medium, and a lighter shade and darker shade (Naked Light and Naked Dark) have been added to the range. Hooray! Not surprisingly, I’m wearing Naked Light.

urbandecaybb
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is not what I expected, formula-wise. I was expecting something thicker. UD’s BB is pretty runny actually. It applies very smoothly and sort of glides over the skin. Unlike other BB creams I’ve tried, I actually don’t recommend applying this like you would any other skin care. If you rub it in circles or rub too much, I find it just balls up. If you just smooth it gently in one direction, it will blend and apply beautifully. That could be because of the skin care I use beforehand, but ¬†if you’re having similar issues try that. Apply it almost like you would a face mask type product.

After applying I definitely feel the silicone-y primer-y feeling, but it’s not as much as when I just whack on a bit of primer. Flaws are definitely blurred. As far as¬†coverage¬†goes, it’s not so much covering problem areas as just making them less noticeable. Red areas look less red, spots are still spots but not as glaring. It’s like a soft focus effect more than a tinted moisturizer effect of providing light coverage – which is what a lot of¬†other¬†BB products provide. I find that I need way less foundation/concealer when wearing this. Whereas before I had foundation and loads of concealer, today I only put on a little concealer over the beauty balm and I was good to go.

If you aren’t looking for¬†coverage,¬†this beauty balm will appeal to you. If you need additional actual coverage, it does make a sublime canvas for applying additional foundation/concealer. Foundation and concealer apply so nicely over the beauty balm! If you don’t wear more base over this, blush and highlighter etc. still ¬†applied really well.

I haven’t been using it long enough to know if the long term benefits are really coming through, but wearing¬†less¬†concealer and foundation couldn’t ever be a bad thing. I can definitely feel a difference in hydration overall. And also, sun screen! :) This sun screen doesn’t bother my skin at all. Many of them¬†do.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with this and have incorporated it into my everyday beauty routine!¬†Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is available at Sephora, Ulta, UD’s site…you know the drill, for $34.

March Beauty Favorites

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Those of you following me on Twitter/Instagram know that I am on the brink of moving house. In fact, I am moving this coming Friday! Because of that, almost all of my stuff is packed already. Including my makeup. I’ve been living out of my makeup bag recently.

First, what bag do I use? It’s the super awesome set bag by The Kim Greene Line. The 2nd edition Essential Bag, in pink. It holds a TON of stuff. This bag is my life right now. :) It holds more than the items I’ve been using/am blogging about this month, believe it or not! Sometime I’ll do a “what’s in my makeup bag” post, but these are the creme de la creme. ;)

Complexion

My usual foundation if I am going to wear any is Urban Decay Naked Skin. This stuff is so flawless. I love it. It actually comes light enough for my pale ass self (I wear shade .5!), and it feels weightless once it’s on. My bottle is almost empty, and I’ve already made sure I have a second one to start using as soon as I unpack it. It’s a little on the pricey side, but one bottle will last quite a while since a little goes a long way! ($39, Sephora)

Along with the UD foundation I have been wearing Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Skin concealer in shade Y0. It’s perfect for spots as it blends naturally and wears like iron. Win! ($20, Sephora)

Cheeks

This month’s cheek looks can pretty much always be attributed to The Makeup Show LA and NARS. Both of my favorites are NARS products and I got both of them at The Makeup Show. I’ve been using the new Contour Blush in Paloma ($42, NARS), the lightest shade for contour & highlight. For a color, I am¬†in love¬†with the new blush shade “Love” ($30, NARS). It’s like a non-shimmery Deep Throat. Let’s be honest though, I’ve never met a NARS blush I didn’t like. As per usual, the gals at the NARS booth at TMSLA were very supportive of my crazy NARS addiction very helpful in helping me make my purchases.

Eyes

Since I still get up at the crack of dawn (just a few more days of that! yay!), my eye makeup has been pretty simple. I like the¬†Urban Decay Naked Basics palette because it’s completely idiot-proof, no-brainer eye makeup. I go over the lid with Naked 2, the crease and/or outer V with Faint, and highlight with Walk of Shame. Boom. Done. Sometimes if I wanna get fancy I will do the crease with Faint and the outer V with a mix of Faint and Creep (mostly Faint, little tiny bit of Creep). I can line my eyes with Creep or Faint, so then all I have to do is add mascara and I have a complete eye look with one little palette. Seriously, it might be basics, but they’re AWESOME basics. ($28, Sephora)

I’ve also been sort of addicted to the¬†Make Up For Ever Aqua Color¬† in 20E. It’s a pinky taupey basic BROWNISH shade with shine/shimmer finish. It’s one of those shades you can just pop over the lid, blend out, and be DONE with it if you want to. And I have, many times. Or other times I’ve incorporated it into a Naked Basics look to add a little ‘oomf’ to the mattes in that palette. ($20, Sephora)

You all know from my review that I am madly in love with the Kevyn Aucoin lash curler. I’ve been using it every day. Want more info? Read my review. ;) ($21, Nordstrom)

Also getting lots of love and previously reviewed? Maybelline The Rocket mascara. LOVE LOVE. Still love. I haven’t loved a mascara this much since I tried that ungodly-expensive Hourglass Film Noir. And Maybelline is MUCH friendlier on the wallet! Check out my review. ($6.99 at Drugstore.com)

Also at The Makeup Show LA, I picked up another Senna Sketch-a-Brow. Brows you can literally throw on in 5 seconds? Yes please. This time I’m actually wearing the shade “Blonde”, which is not too light. It’s just more ashy than the Brunette shade. I’m always really impressed with how these pencils wear, too. They wear like iron! A very important quality in an eyebrow pencil, I say.

Lips

I have been living in 3 shades of Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain virtually non-stop all month. They’re really hydrating, and the color does leave a light stain. Moreso for the brighter colors, but even for the lighter more neutral colors too. The three I’ve had in rotation are Sweetheart, Honey, and Precious. Sweetheart is a¬†bright¬†bright pink. This one is the most staining of the three. Honey is a rosy pink. Precious is a pinkish beige nude. ($7-$9 depending on the drugstore you go to, $8.99 at Drugstore.com)

So those are my favorites… what are yours?

10 Lipstick Formulas You Should Try

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I’ve been really into trying different lipstick formulas lately and I wanted to share with you some of my favorite formulas! If you haven’t tried these yet, you should!

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Best of Brand – Urban Decay

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Since Urban Decay’s Friends & Family sale ends at midnight tonight, I’m offering up my top picks from the brand! If you haven’t decided about hauling, perhaps something here will catch your eye. ;) Just as a reminder, the code is FFHOLIDAY13 for 20% off everything at Urban Decay!

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Urban Decay Friends & Family Sale 2013

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Urban Decay fans, start your engines! Their Friends & Family sale is ON. From now til 11:59 PDT on 10/12/13, get 20% off your entire order on Urban Decay’s site. Everything is included! Yes, that means even the much beloved trio of Naked palettes, Vice 2, ERRYTHANG. Use code¬†FFHOLIDAY13 to get your discount on. Get it!